Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -- Mark Twain
of one author and one volume
I watched the loveliest movie tonight: 84 Charing Cross Road with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins; a movie based on the correspondence that took place over 20 years between NYC author Helene Banff and the staff of Marks & Co. (London antiquarian book sellers). I loved everything about this movie: the cultural differences, most obvious early on in the film as both countries move through post WWII; the chain smoking, drinking, typewriter clacking, loud and loveable Bancroft, the bibliophile heroine; the stoic Anthony Hopkins; the portrayal of love and friendship that can be formed over such great distances. (Mary Ann Shaffer, author of The Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society must have read the book before writing her own!) Watching 84 Charing also made me nostalgic for the pre-internet days of my childhood when there was an excitement in checking the mailbox, waiting on letters from dear ones far away.
I recommend this movie. But, until you see it, just enjoy this gem, shared in the movie:
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another; as therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come; so this bell calls us all..."
The hardest part of being the Director in a small library is that we don't have an HR person, so on top of everything else we do we also get to do the paperwork for the new hires, and retires. Thank God for the internet or these processes would take a lot longer!
One of my board members pointed out that though I'd been informed of staff retirements, I had to officially accept them with a letter...I am finding that a paper trail is an important thing. So, I found a short and simple letter on one university's HR website (sorry forgot which!?) and honed it to work for us. Attached is my sample of a retirement letter.
Is anyone else out there going through this process too?
I first discovered Helen Ward when I bought a copy of her The Tin Forest--the story of a man who in his solitude creates for himself a tin forest; once he builds a replica of the real things he desires, it is only a matter of time before real plants and animals begin to appear in the tin forest--at a used book sale at one of my old libraries when I was in grad school. What makes Ward stand out is that she always paints an intimate story, including details that pull you into the world of the story. I just love her!
We recently got a copy of Helen Ward's The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse; not a
new story, but merely a retelling and re-illustrating of a Aesop's classic. I LOVE
Helen Ward's artwork, which is a feast for the senses, so full of color,
lavish artwork that leaves you feeling as contented as that adorable
I really hate reading books that fall under the same theme each week when I do storytimes--I get it, themes help reinforce learning, blah blah blah--I fall into the school of thought that if you love what you're reading, you communicate something just as powerful to kids! Fortunately, when I do school visits the teachers give me free reign, just glad that I am there and giving them a half an hour break from being in charge. :)
At a recent school visit I did a couple of stories I LOVE and also shared some Shel Silverstein poems to boot, the below storytime was with the first graders (the Kindergarteners have less time with me, so just some books geared toward to them).
The BEST 1st Grade storytime:
Extra Yarn, Marc Barnett, illus. Jon Klassen
How can you not love a story about a girl who has magic yarn that never seems to run out--she makes "sweaters for things that don't even wear sweaters," for Heaven's sake! aAnd Klassen's pictures are nothing short of WON…